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Two Important Updates on 2011 Land Pricing

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Nelson Linden

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In February of this year, we shared our 2010 land pricing plan where we discussed pricing and policies for private regions and  addressed grandfathering, transfers, and retail pricing. In the spirit  of giving you as much advance notice as possible about changes that may have an impact on your plans and budgets, here are two important updates on 2011  pricing:

1) All retail private region maintenance, including grandfathered pricing, is expected to continue without increase through Dec. 31, 2011. 
What you pay now, as a retail customer, is what you’ll continue to pay through the end of 2011.

2) We will adjust how education and non-profit advantages are provided, effective Jan. 1, 2011.  
All  education and non-profit private regions of any type, purchased after Dec. 31, 2010, will be invoiced at standard (i.e. non-discounted) pricing.  All currently discounted renewals which occur after Dec. 31, 2010, will be  adjusted to the new price at that time. To continue to provide  entry-level, private spaces to educators just launching their programs,  we will be providing Homestead and Open Space regions to qualifying  organizations without their meeting the retail full-region criterion. Customer Support will be available to answer any questions that you may  have about these changes.

We  hope that these announcements help you effectively plan for the coming  year. And, we’ll continue to update you well in advance of any  additional pricing changes.

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Dartagan, its just the opposite. I posted this above:

Let’s not forget too that a 1/2 region on the mainland costs as much in monthly tier as a full Homestead region but supplies 7,500 prims and the ability to hold all 40 minimum / 100 maximum allowed avatars.  The problem is that because of education and non-profit policies regarding content they rarely if ever run the risk of being on the mainland because of potential neighbor problems. Taking that into account, this new policy actually forces these two groups to now pay more for less.

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I've been working for almost a year to pull together the pieces so that the College that I work for can go ahead and purchase an island for our virtual campus. We got around IT issues, I found builders and scripters, we sorted out the issues with copyright and property, we came up with a budget and timeline.

And every time someone is about to say "go", something else comes along. The lag issue continues to make any reasonably sized gathering impossible. The new viewer was a hurdle for some of the stakeholders checking out the place so we switched to Emerald. Well, we know how that went.

And now this.

While I've been leery about sticking my neck out to lead the vanguard into SL for my school, I'm now sure that this is NOT the place to attempt an actual educational venue, instead of just an inworld 3D ad for our school.

It's not just the money - developing the virtual campus will cost more than the land fees. But things just aren't stable with LL. Why would we invest in this if we don't even know what's coming down the pike in six months or a year from now?  I can't re-write my proposal every time someone at LL gets another "bright" idea. I'm done.

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The Board of Virtual Ability would like to express our deep disappointment....

Gentle Heron
for the Board of Directors of Virtual Ability, Inc.

Am I correct in gathering that this policy came as a surprise?  I am astonished that LL would announce this without at least spinning it to prominent non-profits.  Virtual Ability's work in SL is quite widely known and respected, partly through LL's own press.

Does that mean that this will come as a surprise to RFL as well?  That could be noisy.

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I see what you mean if the discount was 50% on buy-in. Mainland and partial regions aside, the buy-in for a couple of homesteads is still less than the buy in for estates for us regular folk and holds your 40 avatars.

I admit that I'm not familiar with exactly what "most" educational sims do, although the ones I've seen don't regularly hold events or classes within SL itself with 40 avatars, and in many cases don't seem to need a high prim count for what they're accomplishing which is information or presence based.

Please don't take that wrong, as I'm sure there are educational sims that do make higher use of high traffic having 40 avatars on site, just that I've not seen them outside of the occassional event, but then I'm not an educator. Also haven't seen courses available to the general public.

Also, probably shouldn't say this in the same breath as I'm already fearful of being misinterpreted here, I'm all for education in SL ... when are you folks going to start offering free adult education courses in SL as a loss leader to the business of education? Your non-educator populace here is ripe for it, and it's a great way to reach out beyond your walls and interface with the general public and make some waves. Sorry for that side path, I'm just a big one for adult education and RL working skills for those who can't afford it.

If the needs and the budget are lean, it seemed a nice match to me. Apologies if I'm way off base here.

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Oct 4, 2010 12:32 PM Nany Kayo 

Please explain what you mean by a renewal of an educational or non-profit private region.

How is a renewal different from making a regularly scheduled annual or semi-annual payment?"

 

Means when ya go to make  your next tier payments after January on 5 mostly vacant scenery sims bought through free grants to play with and kept on half price fees while everyone else pays full costs,  the pay to play cost will be GOING UP to match what everyone else pays per month, finally

Badabingggggggggg!!!

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You can have this place.  It's not worth anything without intelligent, educated people.

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Well, when some people try shutting down other people's native indian role play sims because they dont like the WAY the residents are enjoying their sims, I have to have a chuckle today when I read about this turn of events, karma has a way of biting ya and grants in the backside, as you see now

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I am confused from the aspect that Non- profit - not for profit can be many segments. Health related to increase awareness and raise funds for terminal illnesses or researching new treatments. Educational ..based on grants and funding for research and education. non- profit political or grassroots activism.

Second life residents in its early days practiced charity begins at home... to noobs and in our own backyard (the sim next door) the day is fast arriving that we as a community might find the resources to save each other and learn social improvement of the SL society by combining our skills,abilities and profits - builders,designers,scripters,real estate owners,musicians and performers - for causes in RL  that deserve more support than our own ability to continue to afford our current game lifestyles -  or maintain our current profit margins as content creators for those who do not create and are the "customer" that without them .. there is no one to create for. Are we a game or are we a social networking community in a virtual world that has more influence over Second Lifes future than we care to admit,

It is  just as easy to lay down for poor management practices as it is to blame the leaders of countries we voted for that we do not agree with how they are doing things now.

Perhaps this will  create change for the better ... our imagination ,our world .. to do well and overcome in spite of its adversity .. like real life ...  because in  reality ..virtual or otherwise it is just that REAL..and we came to SL to work together for something worthwile .. not something we made just to profit off of someone else ..just a thought - who is missing the boat? LL's or all of us?

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Digital Digital  says:

Good  move LL, I am glad you are doing this because there are quite a few  people out there abusing the discounted educational regions and not  utilizing them like they are supposed to be utilized.

 

Absolutely right on there, I personally had someone who has 5 mostly vacant  "education" sims attack our role play community and attempt to shut down *ALL* native indian type Western 1860's role play sims across the entire grid because this person was jealous that few bought any of her "native" products while our stores did extremely well, and this person complained our role play with a native Cherokee tribe and cowboys was somehow "illegal"  defaming religion?? and was "insulting" to Native-Americans!!

This person did not succeed at all, but caused a backlash in return for sure LOL!

Meanwhile this person sat on FIVE sims purchased with free grant money in the THOUSANDS of dollars from a grantor whom  I tracked down and contacted about this and they told me they would not renew this person's grant.

The Macarthur foundation gives lots of grants to WORTHY causes, this was a mistake on their part. The thousands they gave for 5 vacant sims hardly anyone used would have been better spent on housing, education or even FOOD for real native-Americans and I even told them as much in my letter to their corporate offices.

The monthly cost was about HALF what the rest of sim owners pay every month. That is not what education and non profit sim reduced pricing was supposed to be about!

I say if you have a non profit, you get ONE sim at the reduced price, anything more than that you pay full costs like everyone else here does. This business of having FIVE freaking sims at half price, 4 that were nothing but grass and rolling hills,  for an "education" center consisting of some signs is totally off the wall.

This was obviously abuse of the system and other residents, and I for one will be extremely happy to see that one go bye bye, karma you know!

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Oct 4, 2010 10:04 PM Loriiii Shepherd  says:

I am confused from the aspect that Non- profit - not for profit can be many segments.

 

Non profit according to IRS regulations, to have a non profit discount you have to show proof that you are running a registered, real non-profit in the real world which LL can verify, thus, a public University would easily qualify, "Joe" running  a "heath" web site in his garage office accepting donations but isn't a registered non-profit isn't going to be able to verify.

 


Angel Harmison  says                                          in response to                                            Doggie Jigsaw

Nicely put!

:

Thank you angel.

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It's a  real shame.  Second Life had such promise.  While the press ridiculed  SL's decline as businesses ran away in 2007, non-profits and education  institutions maintained their presence and support.  Without major  companies, universities, and non-profits,

The issue is, with the discount, the cost for the sims means LL is not making a profit on them, and is probabl;y losing money at that rate, which is subsidized.

It doesn't matter if there are 1,000 non profit sims paying tier every month if those 1,000 sims cost more to host and run each month than the tiers bring in!

It would be like selling cars below cost just to sell more cars, similar to the way Lucy on "I love Lucy" and Ethel made and tried to sell some bottled sauce, and Ricky did the math and found they were losing money on every jar, and Lucy said "well, we might not make any money on each jar but we'll make it up in volume!"

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Doubling prices on non-profit and Edu regions will ultimately lose you more money than it gains for you, although I'm sure you have your reasons, and consider them to be good, sound reasons - which brings up the *real* question: "Then WHY has it been such a GOOD idea to give these organizations half-priced land for the past SEVEN YEARS?"  Is today's genius yesterday's idiot? Food for thought.

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I applaud Gentle Heron's summary of some of the consequences, intended and unintended, of this abrupt pricing decision.

(And to academics/educators and the NASA and NOAA staffers inworld working with annual budgets set in August or September, three months notice *is* abrupt, disruptive, and not helpful to their credibility with their home financial offices or departments.)

Disclaimer: I am speaking as Paradox Olber of Spindrift isle in the SciLands, and not as a representative of the SciLands, NASA, NOAA, the International Spaceflight Museum, SpinSpace Gallery, the International Association of Astronomical Artists, the University of Texas State System, the Meta Institute for Computational Astrophysics, the MiLands, PookyMedia, or the Space For Music Museum.

Although I can confirm that, like almost all the commenters' organizations, each of these organizations is planning to reduce Second Life footprint OR strongly discussing that option now.

- Paradox

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Linden Lab does not lose money on their donation if they write it off their taxes.  That's kindof the point of offering the discount to qualified nonprofits.  The discounts are tax deductible.

 

Something besides money has made Linden Lab decide they don't want universities, libraries, museums and nonprofits in Second Life.

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Yes Loriiii, true, but as you know, a lot of people wont pay for what they can get for free. There were lots of people who are happy to occupy and play on sims as long as they pay nothing. I don't know what percentage of people are willing to come up with donations consistantly every week or month to support a virtual University or whatever, by consistant I don't mean someone dropping a paltry L$20 in once. When it takes $4.15 or so to buy L$1,000 and someone drops in L$1,000 now and then, that's only $4.

LL is a business not a charity, they have to do what they have to do, it would be nice if this all came for free but it doesnt. I was spending about $1,000 USD a month for 4 role play sims, and when you look at that, that amount is two new car payments every month. I could buy a basic Lexus for about $500/mo or thereabouts, after a while one has to look at what they are getting for that amount of money.

In the end I sold all 4 sims off at a decent price and now just rent a half sim back at cost.

A non profit has to look at what are they GETTING for their investment in a sim, is it just a play toy for fun or can they honestly look at the "books" and determine, YES, having this sim has done  "X" or "Y" tangeable benefits we can measure either in body numbers at the reallife facility, or dollar wise in the bank.

A university on a sim would have a different purpose and outcome than a woman's medical health related sim, or a support sim.

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Doggie , Im sorry . let me clarify ..  i am aware that a qualifying non profit of any kind  is registered in accordance to regulations of any country and one  that LL has verified, My point is .. plenty of residents can dig deep to help out of their own donations of funds or time to support those we dont want to see leave and believe merits our help,

The "inside funding" that can easily come from SL residents donating time and money  for legitimate non -profits - is a trickle at best because they are already funded on the outside- this practice is not any less greedier than LLs little concern for the ligitimate non profits budget that is being turned upside down as we speak

"I saw the enemy and they were us"

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Nancy Kayo  says:

Something  besides money has made Linden Lab decide they don't want universities,  libraries, museums and nonprofits in Second Life.

 

Probably the plethora  of frivolous complaints from jealous people wanting to shut down other people's role play sims across the grid  would be my guess

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Well, that cinches that I suppose. The virtual campus that I helped build for the University of Alabama's Online Learning Lab is being pushed out. Does this please the Lindens? Fortunately for my fiancee and I, she'll be done with the UoA by then. Unfortunately for LL, she and I will no longer be there as advocates for Second Life to convince the University to keep the campus. Sorry LL, you made your bed. Now you either sleep in it, or sleep on the couch.

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Onward then.

I feel bad about all the non-transferrable work and money I put into the project I built up in SL. 

 

Oh, what a shame  all that nice free grant money just gone up in smoke! I just knew that foundation made a mistake giving grants out like that, now it's all gone pooof it seems, tragic shame

 I am willing to share everything I know and make.

 

Might want to share what you know about trying to control content on the entire grid, The Tombstone sims and many others will be happy to hear of the new relocation out development,  I'm sure.

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I agree with you doggie on almost every count,,, SL  is not just a business tho - it was based on Social Networking to start with and it still is .. we created an economy and placed our priorities and values i would say very similar to those we still  sleep fine at night on - whatever those may be . I believe legitimate non- profit organizations that are able to stay and survive  will be the saving grace of SL. If we cant find ways to find purpose and not just profit. we will  eventually leave..all of us that have made profits and have no more to prove to ourselves skills wise ln SL ****. otherwise SL has no more to offer than RL.

When the compassion and the passion to make a difference that one doesnt necessarily have the opportunity  to feel or achieve in RL  are gone in SL.. profit is not enough to stay ..at least not in Second Life ..there is not enough profit to make it worthwhile.

We can turn off the PC and get that much at any given moment and probably more,and it doesnt cost us a dime

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1: Lower prices to increase land sales.

2: allow prims up to 100m to be made by premiums to drive up premium accounts.

3: create 512mx512m standalone islands for racing.  This is very easy to do and will sell like hotcakes.

4:  restore ownership of things in SL - just like land bought in Montana  can't be taken out of the state, neither can land (or anything else) be  taken out of SL.

5: initiate a "Welcome Home" program where people  who abandoned islands can restart them again with no fee and no cost -  just pick up the tier at the new lower rate once more and all is good.

6:  create a G continent for the teens to be restricted to.  Adults may  enter it so educational ventures can work, but the teens may not enter  the main grid.  The bill-paying adults then are less worried about  staying.

 

All these things can be implemented in less than a  month.  It's nobody's fault but LL's if you dry out this cash cow and  get no more milk from it.

 

Now that would be a SMART business plan!!!! I really don´t understand why THEY can´t see the benefits of this. LL WAKE UP!!!!!!

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Thanks Loriii, yes, SL started out that way, and users are the ones who built up all the content, but "today" LL is a business that has expenses as you know, servers, staff, all that  stuff I'm sure you know.

Bottom line is, they have bills to pay , and when the numebrs don't match something has to give, either quality and service or price, or both, and that's the cold hard reality.

Ive been to a number of really COOL university sims with top-notch buildings, but I've rarely ever run into ANYONE on them no matter when I went.

I look at a set of 5  "native indian  educational" sims now and see ONE dot, I don't think I've seen more than 3 dots at one time ever there.

Maybe I visited the University sims at the wrong times, but I've gone to a number of them and different days and times and it's the same story, so I'm not sure if they are just not utilized as much as the makers hoped for, or what the story is.

If that kind of traffic is representative of those University sims, then I don't see where their value is to the University or what benefit it is for them I should say, if so few even go there.

I went to Univ of Delaware, james Madison, Stanford, and Bellarat

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